Tag Archives: parking

RPZ consultation outcome

23 Jan

Fellathebunny 2015 Jan 23

Finally the council have worked it out: no RPZ for us!

A good result for Forest Gate North.

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Maud Street

16 Dec

This was posted as a comment on my About page a couple of days ago (I’ve tidied up the punctuation a bit so it’s easier to read):

Please someone help.

Maud Street car park is closing due to another bit of incompetence by the councillors. We gave 1800 objections to the closure; Ian Corbett blocked these objections.

This will put business and jobs at risk. Guess who carried out the consultation? Helen Edwards.

This is money scheme by the council as the proposed social housing was sold to Chinese investors.

This morning Andrew Boff, the leader of the Conservative group on the Greater London Assembly, submitted a string of FOI requests to Newham Council about the consultation:

  • When is the parking order (dated October 1st) for the provision of On Street parking on Malmesbury Road and Oak Crescent due to commence?
  • When were local residents and businesses consulted with regard to the appropriation of land at Maud Street car park?
  • Please supply a list of businesses and residents notified with regard to the appropriation of land at Maud Street car park.
  • Please supply a list of all responses to the consultation process related to the appropriation of land at Maud Street car park.
  • What were the costs of the consultation process related to the appropriation of land at Maud Street car park.
  • Please supply a list of all responses to each of the notices to revoke the (Off Street Parking Places) (Maud Street)(No1) Order 2007.
  • Of the responses to each of the notices to revoke the (Off StreetParking Places) (Maud Street)(No1) Order 2007, how many were infavour and how many against?
  • When is the parking order (dated October 1st) for the provision of On Street parking on Malmesbury Road and Oak Crescent due to commence?

I’m not sure why all of these couldn’t have been submitted as a single request, but the questions seem pertinent in the light of the allegation that the overwhelming public response to the consultation was rejection of a proposal that has gone ahead regardless.

If anyone knows any more about this, please post in comments.

RPZ consultation drop-in

4 Jul

Angry mob Simpsons

The atmosphere at The Gate during Thursday’s RPZ extension “drop-in session” was heated, to say the least. Some very angry people were making their feelings known in no uncertain terms. 

I got the opportunity to speak to an officer and ask the questions I wanted answered.

The consultation is happening because a small handful of residents on Windsor Road petitioned the council. They also had requests from a bit of Woodford Road and residents on Forest Side. The total number of requests was around fifteen, which seems a very small number to trigger a consultation over such a wide area. Clearly Newham were looking for an excuse.

The officer insisted that the proposals and the consultation had been designed with the input and support of local ward councillors, though when I pointed out that the election was only 6 weeks ago and the plans must have taken longer than that to draw up she did admit it was the previous set who had discussed it. The boundaries of the proposed extension were based on who asked for it and where they were located. Sebert Road was included because Councillor Robinson said she had had a lot of requests ‘on the doorstep’ and she thought it would be good to give residents the chance to vote on it.

If the scheme goes ahead residents with permits will be able to park anywhere in the Forest Gate zone, not just their own street – that includes areas in the currently existing RPZ. And I was assured that anyone who lives in the zone and has a car registered at their address will get a permit if they apply – the council can’t refuse a valid application.

The application process is online and requires residents to submit a scan of their V5C vehicle registration certificate.

On the matter of the database of vehicle ownership details – which obviously includes copies of all of those scanned documents – and who gets access to it I got no answers at all. That’s handled by “another department.” The officer suggested I submit an FOI. 

Predictably there are no guarantees that charges won’t be introduced for permits which are now free. The officer acknowledged that all our neighbouring boroughs charge for permits, even the first permit per household, but insisted “we have no plans” to start charging. Which is far from reassuring.

There is no monitoring of fraud or the misuse of visitor permits and no enforcement.

Surprisingly, no business impact assessment has been carried out on shops, cafés and market stall holders in Forest Gate.

And it’s not just business owners being ignored: if you don’t live on a street that’s part of the proposed extension you won’t be consulted. Even if parking will get worse because cars are displaced from the RPZ, tough luck.

The reason there’s no public meeting about the proposals is ‘safety’. Make of that what you will, but given the atmosphere in the room I can understand the concern. 

If the zone is extended but residents later decide they don’t like it and want it removed there’s no formal mechanism to do that. We’d have to petition the council and lobby our ward councillors. “It’s never happened in Newham,” I was told.

The consultation closes on 18 July and results will be known by mid-August. A summary of responses (how many participated, how many said yes, how many no etc) will be published. And officers will look at the responses from different areas and make decisions on a street-by-street basis. It isn’t all or nothing.

Other people were raising concerns too – very loudly. Residents on Bective Road were insisting they hadn’t ever received the consultation pack and I spoke to someone from Claremont Road who said the same thing. I’ve also heard via Twitter from people on Chestnut Avenue and Capel Road that  they didn’t get them either. 

One man complained about the introduction of pay-and-display bays outside Woodgrange Cemetery. He said asking people who were coming to bury their dead to pay for parking was “a sick joke.”

Two councillors were at The Gate, Mas Patel of Forest Gate South and Ken Clark of Little Ilford. Councillor Clark lives on Hampton Road and was attending as a resident rather than his official capacity. Both councillors agreed something had gone wrong with the distribution of papers and said they would ask questions. My view is that the integrity of the consultation has been fatally undermined by the failure to provide proper documentation to all resident in good time. If people get them now, after the one and only ‘drop-in’ session has happened, what good is that? Who can they go and ask if they have questions or concerns? The closing date is only two weeks away.

As with so much in Newham, it’s just not good enough.

13 questions about the RPZ extension

30 Jun
Capel Road parking
06:40 a.m. on Capel Road – if there’s a problem, it isn’t commuters parking for the Overground
 
So that the council’s officers can be prepared at the drop-in session on Thursday, here are the questions I will be asking about the proposed extension to the Forest Gate residents parking zone (RPZ):
  1. How many residents have requested this and over what period were the requests made?
  2. To what extent have local councillors been involved in developing the proposals and the decision to hold a consultation?
  3. If I have a permit can I park anywhere in the RPZ, or just on my street or my bit of the zone?
  4. Will parking bays be one big bay or marked individual bays?
  5. What guarantees are there that the free first permit per household will continue to be free in perpetuity?
  6. Can a resident’s application for a permit be declined? If so, on what grounds?
  7. Who within the local authority can access the database of residents’ vehicle ownership details and on what terms?
  8. Will residents’ data be sold or otherwise made available to third parties?
  9. Has an assessment been made of the impact on local shops and businesses, particularly as a result of the Sebert Road extension?
  10. Are residents on streets adjoining the RPZ extension, but not part of it, being consulted? If not, why not?
  11. Why are there no public meetings being held, just a single ‘drop-in session’ at The Gate?
  12. When will the outcome of the consultation be known and will all of the responses be published?

and unlucky 13 – if, after a period of operation, residents decide they don’t like the RPZ and want it removed, what mechanism exists to request this?

UPDATE 1:

Two excellent additional questions via a resident in a street not included in the proposal but likely to be affected by it:

  • How will Newham monitor fraud, especially regarding the misuse of visitor permits; and
  • How did the parking design team come to the conclusion that the far ends of Sebert, Hampton and Osborne Roads, which are more than half a mile from the town centre should be included in the proposal but not side roads in Forest Gate village (between Sebert and Capel Roads) which are much closer?

UPDATE 2:

From Newham council’s Parking Policy on RPZ consultations: “there must be a minimum of 20% of respondents, where 55% or more must be in favour for a scheme to progress.”

So another question:

  • Is the 20% is counted across the whole proposed extension or area-by-area: if the Woodgrange Estate part of the scheme gets a big response but the Capel Road/Woodford Road/Chestnut Avenue bit gets none, do we still end up with an RPZ in our area, or does it just go ahead on Woodgrange?

Forest Gate RPZ extension consultation

29 Jun

Yesterday I received a package through the door from Newham council containing information about a proposed extension to the local residents parking zone (RPZ).

This was a bit of a surprise to me and to others on Twitter, none of whom had heard anything about it. Some people living on streets directly affected hadn’t received the information pack.

Below are links to scans I have made of the documents:

There’s a ‘drop-in session’ at the Gate Library on Thursday 3 July from 4:30 to 7:30, but no other public meetings (that I’m aware of). The closing date for responses is 18 July 2014.

Yellow

12 May

Garman Rd Yellow Lines

I thought no-one could beat Newham council for sheer stupidity in the name of parking enforcement, but here is a contender from Haringey: possibly the world’s shortest and most pointless double yellow lines.